Update October 8, 2021
Update on the Save Ansley Park Campaign
As previously announced, consideration of the two ordinances introduced by Councilmember Farohki that would have rezoned 120 of our neighborhood properties to MR/MU multi-family has been postponed until sometime in 2022. Meanwhile, there are two documents still making their way through the process towards a final vote in City Council.
NPU-E, in which Ansley Park is an active participant, has voted to oppose both pieces of legislation. Please find both copies of the legislation and NPU-E’s comment letter at www.npueatlanta.org
Sept. 24, 2021 Update
FIRST BATTLE VICTORY – CAMPAIGN CONTINUES
Thanks to all our neighborhood residents, the flyers, emails to elected officials, door hangers, yard signs, green tree ribbons and a petition all declaring NO TO REZONING has taken hold. City Planning Commissioner Tim Keane and Councilmember Amir Farokhi have deferred consideration of the two pieces of legislation (21-O-0454 and 21-O-0455) that would rezone 20% of Ansley Park from R-4 residential to MR/MU multi-family. The biggest threat to the neighborhood has been pushed back to gather additional neighborhood and NPU input. We have a great battle victory but the campaign is still on. The final draft of the Comprehensive Development Plan has yet to be released and proposed ordinance 21-O-0456 remains in play as scheduled. Please await further developments.
Updated August 27, 2021
DRASTIC CHANGES PROPOSED IN THE CITY’S GUIDING PLANNING DOCUMENT AND ZONING ORDINANCES THAT THREATEN THE CHARACTER AND INTEGRITY OF OUR HISTORIC NEIGHBORHOOD.
Comprehensive Development Plan
Every five years, the City of Atlanta is required by state law to update its Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP). This document covers a wide range of topics and is intended to coordinate the planning policies of the various functions of city government. This document, once approved by City Council, sets the aspirational goals for things like land use and development. Specifically, the intention is that future zoning ordinances and variances must be consistent in some fashion with the CDP. The city planning department had initially been saying the CDP update this cycle would be “administrative”. However, when it was actually published, the proposal contained major policy changes in land use and development including the concept of a Transit Oriented Development zone around major MARTA stations which would encompass the west side of Ansley Park. Warning, this is a 159 page document with pictures. https://www.atlcitydesign.com/2021-cdp
Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU-E) has filed its objections to the CDP which is more germane to Ansley Park. APCA contributed to the composition and editing. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DDsvDlMNruy2P14yhRuJiz-QmfkaGJkA/view?usp=sharing
Proposed Zoning Changes
Earlier this month in a surprising move, Councilmember Amir Farokhi, in conjunction with the City’s Planning Department, introduced three proposed ordinances which directly impact Ansley Park:
See the map for specific property lots that would be rezoned multi-family.
Ordinarily, enabling legislation would follow the adoption of the CDP. In this case, the legislation is being introduced even before the NPUs have approved the CDP.
These Changes Will Denigrate Our Historic Neighborhood
APCA has been concerned about the number of homes being torn down under existing applicable zoning regulations. Rising property values has made it profitable for developers to come in and purchase homes, particularly modest-sized and older homes, and replace them with structures that maximize lot coverage and built square footage. We believe this proposed rezoning will accelerate the loss of homes in the neighborhood due to re-development of existing homes into multi-family developments allowed in MR-MU (allowing up to 12 units per parcel depending on lot size and configuration). Demolition and higher land use intensity will lead bring a meaningful deterioration of the historic character of the neighborhood. The situation could be severely exacerbated if developers were able to further rezone properties in the future to even more expansive uses compatible with this new medium density residential land use designation in the CDP.
Given the high cost of the units in the newly constructed developments along Piedmont, we do not believe this rezoning will create meaningful amounts of affordable housing in Ansley Park, is one of the stated goals of these ordinances. Moreover, the neighborhood remains home to a large number of duplexes, carriage houses, small condos and apartment buildings which provide more moderately priced housing.
Since the 1960’s, APCA has fought to maintain the integrity of the neighborhood from encroachment of development from Peachtree, having already lost the section of the neighborhood along West Peachtree and Peachtree. Consequently, the neighborhood has drawn a proverbial line in the sand along the alleyway in between Peachtree Circle and Peachtree. This dramatically crosses that line. Essentially, Ansley Park would lose the uniformity of low-density zoning in the neighborhood core.
Many residents will recall that planners once wanted to run freeways through now cherished intown Atlanta neighborhoods against the opposition of residents. The call for rezoning Ansley Park in the name of density echoes this fight.
Call to Action-Recent Developments
Be on the lookout for e-News blasts from APCA plus notices and information posted on the APCA website. We will provide suggested emails to elected officials and decision makers at appropriate intervals.
APCA will need additional financial resources to effectively challenge these proposals. We are going to need to pay printers, sign makers, and hire an attorney(s) with specialized expertise in land use law. Please consider a financial donation.
APCA is unsure of what is motivating these proposed zoning changes. Speculation surrounds recent private funding announcements from MARTA, potential upcoming federal funding opportunities, and good old fashion city politics in an election year as drivers of this hurried process.
APCA will try to convey dates as they evolve. City Planning has stated it will provide final versions of the ordinances in time for the NPU agendas for “Review & Comment” in September and a vote by the NPUs in October. NPU-E, of which we are a part, meets on the first Tuesday of the month, September 7th and October 5th, respectively. The Zoning Review Board is currently scheduled to review these ordinances including comments from the public and NPUs on November 4th or 18th. Ultimately, they will need to pass City Council which is currently slated for a hearing in November and a vote on December 6th.
However, please note that proposed CDP changes in ordinance 21-O-0455 which redesignate the future land use from single family to medium density residential are on a separate, more accelerated timeline. At the July 13th Community Development / Human Services Committee meeting, the committee, inc. chair Matt Westmoreland, voted to “hold in committee” this legislation until the 3rd Quarter CDP Public Hearing scheduled for September 27.
Ansley Park Forever
Ansley Park has the ability to customize its own zoning through a historic/landmark designation. To preserve our historic character and plan for future growth, please attend a Zoom meeting on Thursday, September 2 to introduce Survey #2 with a Q&A. On Monday, September 13th , attend a presentation and Q&A with Doug Young, Assistant Director of Atlanta’s Historic Preservation Studio. Register Here.
Finally, please participate in the Ansley Park Forever discussions. This ultimately may be the only route to exempt us from current and future attempts to kill our neighborhood.
Ansley Park Civic Association - P.O. Box 77125, Atlanta, GA 30309